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Old 12-09-2018, 05:19 AM
Rachellelogram Rachellelogram is offline
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My husband may be permanently disabled and I'm asking myself questions

I have emptied pee-tainers and picked up more than my fair share of household chores and grocery shopping while my husband recovers from ankle/foot surgery. He's done this once before. The first foot recovered like a charm or a champ or whatever the fuck you want to call it (he went from flat-footed to arch-footed).

The second foot is having many more issues. He's heavier now than he was before--approx 300 lbs--and there are complications. More surgeries are apparently called-for.

I am lighter than I've ever been. I got weight loss surgery in 2016 and I'm down from 320lbs to 175ish. I'm no prize, not in my twenties anymore. I've got loose skin and all that shit, but I'm cuter with my clothes on.

Fortunately, our employer has been willing to work with his restrictions. He's been working from home for months. I am still pitching in more than my fair share and wondering if this will ever end.

We were wandering a flea market the other day. He pulled out a chair to sit on (that was not intended for customers to sit on) and I realized that... it very well may not. And I'm not sure I'm okay with that.

Through sickness and in health is an easy enough thing to parrot during the exchange of wedding vows, but how much is too much? I'm 34 years old. He's about to turn 35. I did not... NOT sign up for this, but the thought of living without him is... literally unthinkable.

I dunno. There's a big enormous ginormous bucket of I don't fucking know right now.

No kids and there never will be, if it matters.
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Last edited by Rachellelogram; 12-09-2018 at 05:23 AM.
  #2  
Old 12-09-2018, 06:40 AM
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Listen, if you're unhappy with the relationship, the only sensible thing to do is get out. Otherwise it's life full of resentment (Which already shows in your OP) for BOTH parties involved..

Morally wise, IDK, that's something you're gonna have to come to terms with yourself. But no matter what conclusions you come to, that still doesn't change the fact that you need to get out.

Sorry you're going through this.
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Old 12-09-2018, 07:27 AM
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Don't listen to Grrr!, apparently they didn't finish reading

What can be done about the weight? That seems like a big item, and one which should help with the foot if it can be brought down.

Work with your doctors as much as possible to make sure that he's getting treatment for everything that's needed. And do you have any sort of counseling resources available?

Last edited by Nava; 12-09-2018 at 07:27 AM.
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Old 12-09-2018, 10:22 AM
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Through sickness and in health is an easy enough thing to parrot during the exchange of wedding vows, but how much is too much? I'm 34 years old. He's about to turn 35. I did not... NOT sign up for this, but the thought of living without him is... literally unthinkable.
There's your problem right there. It is evident that you did not actually mean what you said on your wedding day.

You DID, in point of fact, sign up for this when you made those vows. If you did not want to sign up for it you never should have gotten engaged, much less married.

Marriage is for LIFE; plain and simple. Not until things get messy or inconvenient.
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Old 12-09-2018, 10:29 AM
StGermain StGermain is online now
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I think you need to talk to him about it. Not "You're a drag and I want to leave". rather "This is becoming too much for me, and we need to see if we can shift things around to make it easier. Because right now, this won't work in the long term." Then look at it - If he can walk around a flea market, even a bit, he should be able to make it to the bathroom. If he can stand at the sink for 5 minutes, he should be able to wash the dishes in stages. Find your major pain points and look for solutions.

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Old 12-09-2018, 10:33 AM
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There's your problem right there. It is evident that you did not actually mean what you said on your wedding day.

You DID, in point of fact, sign up for this when you made those vows. If you did not want to sign up for it you never should have gotten engaged, much less married.

Marriage is for LIFE; plain and simple. Not until things get messy or inconvenient.
Says who? Some clown in a robe? You're required to be miserable for your entire life because you made a mistake when young? Utter nonsense, IMO.
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Old 12-09-2018, 10:37 AM
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Is he willing to get healthy? My husband is disabled and it's not something that can be fixed. He's not overweight, and he does what he can, but part of the reason I'm going to the gym four times a week is so I can heft the wheelchair into the trunk when I'm in my 70s. Bless him, he couldn't sleep last night due to his pain, so he spent two hours on our home gym. He tries, goddammit, and that's so important.

You may need to have a sit down with him, his doctor, and possibly a therapist. I think he owes it to you to fix what can be fixed. If that means going on an exercise routine and eating healthy then so be it. Fix the things that can be fixed, so the stuff that cannot be fixed aren't complicated by other issues.

Flyer, I think you're being a bit harsh. To me, sickness and in health to me means you stick by each other in sickness, but you also have the responsibility to maintain your health so you can be together as long as you can.
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Old 12-09-2018, 11:19 AM
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OP, i think you are despondant because of the circumstsnce. Don't make decisions at this stage. Gradually decrease your help to his person. He needs to take responsibility for his own hygiene, that includes pee-tainers. My advice, give it more time. You owe yourself that much.
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Old 12-09-2018, 11:22 AM
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So ok your husband is recovering from foot surgery but meanwhile you've lost some weight through surgery, starting to feel confidence about yourself and now this porker is holding you back from living wild and free, is that the situation?
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  #10  
Old 12-09-2018, 11:27 AM
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I know you're frustrated, but do you love your husband? You mention how much work you're doing and how much cuter you feel, but never once do you express sympathy for what he's going through.
  #11  
Old 12-09-2018, 11:43 AM
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OP, discuss with him. And you may have already, to some extents. Your frustration is evident in what you shared, maybe you can read it to him pretty much verbatim, or its main points anyway, because threatening to leave does not form a good discussion basis if you want to find solutions, but rather it’s more delivering an ultimatum, which may not be the best route towards mutual problem solving. Maybe a “this is super-serious shit I must emphatically emphasize to you” kind of marital summit meeting.

The words in our oaths and vows weren’t just said by someone wearing a silly robe, they were also said by each one of us who took those vows, and in front of at least one witness (usually). Typically, we meant them when we said them. Typically, we didn’t say “I promise to be with you but only if you continue to make me happy, and only if I remain happy”. I do believe there are grounds for leaving, and those typically involve sexual infidelity, substance addiction / abuse, and/or physical abuse — and those are not absolutes. Each person decides for themself when enough is enough. None of us here on The Dope know everything you are dealing with, Rachel.

Yesterday as I was browsing through some shops (with my wife, as it turns out), I came across this magnet with a quote I really liked:

The secret to life is not learning how to live past the rain, it’s learning how to dance in it.

Sincerely, I hope we Dopers can help, and I wish you well.
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Old 12-09-2018, 11:48 AM
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He might look into bariatric surgery if diets don't work.
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Old 12-09-2018, 11:56 AM
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Maybe remind him couples get through their most difficult challenges by working as a team. Tell him that’s not how this feels to you. Be honest that you’re questioning whether you can meet this challenge, and fear you’ll never be able go the distance, as things stand.

It would be really helpful to bring to the table some suggestions on what you’d like to see from him. Be brutally honest, if he can’t pull more of his own weight, around the house etc, you seriously doubt you can keep this up.

See what he has to say. Leave it with him and tell him you want him to think about it before responding, then you go out and give him some time.

Sometimes people need their world shook up a little bit, especially if they’re struggling to recover from something so disruptive to their lives.

Wishing you Good Luck!
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Old 12-09-2018, 12:26 PM
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Annnnd now you see why the divorce rate after weight loss surgery is so high.

If he is a good person overall, then I would try to talk to him about how you are feeling and what you think he can do to meet you halfway. I mean, if you hadn't had your surgery, it is quite possible that you could have been the one having health issues from your weight, and wouldn't you want him to give you a chance to try to work on things before leaving over it?
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Old 12-09-2018, 12:34 PM
Wesley Clark Wesley Clark is offline
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Annnnd now you see why the divorce rate after weight loss surgery is so high.
The argument I've heard is that if the person who got surgery was skinny when the couple met, got heavy and then got surgery to get skinny again, then divorce doesn't really skyrocket. But if the person who got surgery was heavy when the couple met, and is now skinny, then the divorce rate shoots up because now they feel they can do better.

For OP, I'd recommend encouraging husband to get bariatric surgery and a good pair of Z-coils to see if that helps.
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Old 12-09-2018, 12:44 PM
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An important thing to do, and it is very hard, is to remember that he is not being disabled AT you. I'm sure this sucks for him, too. I am in no way blaming you for feeling the way do, just saying that a change in mindset can help with the resentment, even if it doesn't do anything for the underlying problem. It also sounds like you're doing a great job. You've been taking care of him when he really needs you, but this isn't a situation that can go on indefinitely.

A key point from when I had my broken leg---I wanted to help around the house, it was a matter of figuring out how to overcome my physical limitations. If your husband doesn't want to help, but would rather wallow in his misery, then he might also be dealing with depression. It is important to get help with that, too. No amount of glaring at him or asking if he can just sit on the bed while he folds the laundry are going to fix depression.

A few random useful bits I learned from having a broken leg: A tall stool in the kitchen let me cook; a thrift store plastic lawn chair and a detachable shower head let me bathe; I couldn't vacuum or put away clutter, but I could clean surfaces and bathrooms; almost all big stores provide electric carts.
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Old 12-09-2018, 12:46 PM
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So when you married, you were 320lbs and he was nearing 300? Or did you both gain weight after marriage? Because if that's the case, you certainly did sign up for this. Unless there was some pact to lose weight added to your vows or simply promises to one another.

Either way, if it helps, consider how he'd treat you if the situation were reversed. If you were the one to break your ankle, which I hear even thin people do (but don't quote me), and there were unexpected complications and thus you needed assistance, do you think your husband would have pitched in accordingly? Did you require any help or accommodation during your weight-loss surgery recovery time? Did he help you then? If he didn't, and if you think he wouldn't do so in any circumstance, I don't blame you for being resentful.

OTOH, I'm not sure why his requiring a chair after wandering around a flea market, esp. if he has foot issues, is some damning proof that he'll never change. Did you require any rest after exertion when you were 320? Didn't seem to prove that you couldn't subsequently lose weight courtesy of surgery and change of diet.

And let's look at the timing, too. You began to lose weight two years ago, at 33. Why do you think the fact that your husband has held on to his extra weight a couple years after you came to your epiphany indicates that he's never ever ever going to change? Did he pass some invisible barrier that exists between 33 and 35 during which the window of opportunity to decide to change one's lifestyle slams shut, permanently?

It's entirely understandable to feel frustrated because it's damn tough to help someone who requires assistance. Even when you love someone, it's exhausting. So you're entitled to vent. As an observer, I just think it's way too soon to be considering cutting him loose, if indeed you are. Doesn't seem fair to a guy who's taking (not very much) longer than you to address a health issue you once shared.
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Old 12-09-2018, 01:04 PM
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There's your problem right there. It is evident that you did not actually mean what you said on your wedding day.

You DID, in point of fact, sign up for this when you made those vows. If you did not want to sign up for it you never should have gotten engaged, much less married.

Marriage is for LIFE; plain and simple. Not until things get messy or inconvenient.
None of the weddings I've performed (and they've all been performances) have included anything about sickness or health.
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Old 12-09-2018, 01:21 PM
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When faced with a difficult decision ask yourself, "Can I live with this?" If so you're halfway there.

I've known people that have faced similar decision, some have partners that wind up with 20 year prison sentences. Is it fair that a 25 year old needs to wait out 20 of the most productive years of his/her life?

This is something you ultimately have to decide for yourself, and whatever the results are good or bad, you're going to have to live with it. So again, I say ask yourself, "Can I live with this?"
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Old 12-09-2018, 01:59 PM
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If household chores are the issue, if the guy can get around a flea market, he can fold some clothes and do some dishes. Before his foot surgery, did you have one of those old fashioned marriages where the man does nothing around the house except take out garbage and squash spiders? If not, tell him he needs to pitch in. If you did all the chores before, tell him that things can't be like that anymore, and he needs to pitch in. Either way, he needs to pitch in. Tell him.

But to me it sounds like you're thinking how cute you are, and you're tempted to look elsewhere. You say that living without him is unthinkable to you. Lemme ask you, is that because you still love him, or because he takes care of you financially? Or perhaps a change that big would be a lot of effort and you're just too tired?

If you still love him, my advice is cuddle up to him. Flirt and spend that cuteness you're feeling on him. He'll respond, believe me. And you'll forget about looking elsewhere.

If you don't love him anymore, and you don't want to try to love him again, you have a decision to make. Do you help him through his health misfortune as you promised to do when you married him, or just abandon him, and break that vow.

If honor means something to you, you'll know what do. If not, well, if you can live without honor, that's up to you.
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Old 12-09-2018, 02:00 PM
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So when you married, you were 320lbs and he was nearing 300? Or did you both gain weight after marriage? Because if that's the case, you certainly did sign up for this. Unless there was some pact to lose weight added to your vows or simply promises to one another.

Either way, if it helps, consider how he'd treat you if the situation were reversed. If you were the one to break your ankle, which I hear even thin people do (but don't quote me), and there were unexpected complications and thus you needed assistance, do you think your husband would have pitched in accordingly? Did you require any help or accommodation during your weight-loss surgery recovery time? Did he help you then? If he didn't, and if you think he wouldn't do so in any circumstance, I don't blame you for being resentful.

OTOH, I'm not sure why his requiring a chair after wandering around a flea market, esp. if he has foot issues, is some damning proof that he'll never change. Did you require any rest after exertion when you were 320? Didn't seem to prove that you couldn't subsequently lose weight courtesy of surgery and change of diet.

And let's look at the timing, too. You began to lose weight two years ago, at 33. Why do you think the fact that your husband has held on to his extra weight a couple years after you came to your epiphany indicates that he's never ever ever going to change? Did he pass some invisible barrier that exists between 33 and 35 during which the window of opportunity to decide to change one's lifestyle slams shut, permanently?

It's entirely understandable to feel frustrated because it's damn tough to help someone who requires assistance. Even when you love someone, it's exhausting. So you're entitled to vent. As an observer, I just think it's way too soon to be considering cutting him loose, if indeed you are. Doesn't seem fair to a guy who's taking (not very much) longer than you to address a health issue you once shared.
So much truth here. I hope the OP reads it.

I'm the last one who should judge someone on their relationship problems, but it doesn't seem like Rachellelogram has much love for her husband. If I had a fucked-up foot and I just needed to take a breather after walking for awhile, I would really hope my spouse wouldn't find that off-putting or embarrassing or a sign that I was always going to be a miserable wreck.

Maybe I'm spoiled, having seen my parents make it work for 50 years. My mother has always dealt with chronic health issues that have affected her mobility. My father hasn't had to empty any pee bottles (as far as I'm aware), but he has had to wheel her around in wheelchairs and do chores that she is unable to do. He's had to rush her to the emergency room in the middle of the night when she won't stop screaming from the pain. He has had to attend to her while she recuperates from the chemotherapy she takes for her disorder, and he has had to shell out thousands of dollars out-of-pocket to see that she gets this much-needed treatment. And he isn't happy about any of it since he's a human being. But he has stayed by her side the whole time. Not just because they are married. But because he loves the hell out of that woman.

Seems to me if a difficult foot injury is enough to make someone question their marriage, then they really shouldn't be married. Because a fucked-up foot is pretty small potatoes compared to something like cancer or a severe back injury or any of the million other diseases that can hit a person in the prime of their life.
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Old 12-09-2018, 02:31 PM
Hari Seldon Hari Seldon is offline
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It's funny how half the posts think you want out and the other half that you want to make it work. I am tentatively with the latter half. I think your OP made that pretty clear. So how to make it work. 300 lb is probably below the point that bariatric surgery is recommended (depending on height) but perhaps that should be pursued. I myself was above 280 at one point but have hovered around 200 since 2011 so I know it can be done. But it is not easy. It is harder when you are in a wheelchair, but there are exercises even so. I recall a photo Ambivalid linked to once showing him chinning himself attached to his chair.

As for helping around the house, that can and should be done.

Good luck.
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Old 12-09-2018, 02:36 PM
pudytat72 pudytat72 is offline
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The immediate post-op period deserves pampering, but after that, it becomes rehab and he needs to push himself to be mobile.

If he is on crutches, get him a backpack to put things in (with a plastic bag for his "pee-tainers") Walkers can be fitted with a carry bag or tray. Get a bar-stool/chair for him to sit on in the kitchen for cooking and clean-up. Grocery stores have electric carts for shopping, he can come with you for together time. If he can drive, he can go by himself. Don't bring him snacks-if he is hungry, he needs to get up and get them himself. If this is going to be a long term problem with his foot/mobility, he needs to learn how to function with it.
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Old 12-09-2018, 02:39 PM
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The ultimate answer to these types of posts is always, "Talk it out." and "Get some professional or spiritual counseling together." As I said in another thread where the OP is wondering why he's sad sometimes, posting on a forum ultimately does nothing. It's too easy to pick and choose what you want to read, accept or reject. You need a real live person to talk to. Ideally face to face so you can both adjust your conversation based on visual and audio clues, often subconscious and involuntary.

Last edited by lingyi; 12-09-2018 at 02:40 PM.
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Old 12-09-2018, 02:42 PM
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A lot of people, some I barely know, use me as a sounding board for their relationship issues. I'll listen and give my opinions, but always end with, "Okay, now tell him/her what you just told me."

Last edited by lingyi; 12-09-2018 at 02:43 PM.
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Old 12-09-2018, 02:43 PM
pudytat72 pudytat72 is offline
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The immediate post-op period deserves pampering, but after that, it becomes rehab and he needs to push himself to be mobile.

If he is on crutches, get him a backpack to put things in (with a plastic bag for his "pee-tainers") Walkers can be fitted with a carry bag or tray. Get a bar-stool/chair for him to sit on in the kitchen for cooking and clean-up. Grocery stores have electric carts for shopping, he can come with you for together time. If he can drive, he can go by himself. Don't bring him snacks-if he is hungry, he needs to get up and get them himself. If this is going to be a long term problem with his foot/mobility, he needs to learn how to function with it.
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Old 12-09-2018, 03:22 PM
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First off, welcome back! We havenít seen you in a long while.

Secondly, congrats on your weight loss! Iím happy that the surgery has worked out for you.

Third, it sounds like you are going through a patch of conflicted thoughts and emotions and just need to process it all. I think itís natural to feel this way sometimes during marriage, when life throws shit at one or both of you. So donít feel guilty. Just donít make rash moves while youíre in this state of mind.

Talk to your husband. Tell him that youíre worried about his health and want assurance that he will make certain lifestyle changes so that in the event his foot doesnít heal, he can still be active and mobile. Tell him that you will support him in every way in making these changes, even if it means you have to change too. Because you love him and are concerned about his wellbeing. Then listen to him. Donít bring up your newfound weight loss.

Opening up to him could be a start in feeling better about your situation. I get the sense that you are not communicating with him, and itís adding to your resentment.
  #28  
Old 12-09-2018, 08:13 PM
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There's your problem right there. It is evident that you did not actually mean what you said on your wedding day.

You DID, in point of fact, sign up for this when you made those vows. If you did not want to sign up for it you never should have gotten engaged, much less married.

Marriage is for LIFE; plain and simple. Not until things get messy or inconvenient.
This is such bullshit for so many reasons. Adultery, abuse, addiction, lying, withholding affection and a whole bunch more are all perfectly valid reasons for divorce. But you know what else is a valid reason? No reason at all. People change, our desires change and that's fine.

Also, how do you know what they said on their wedding day?? If you actually read the OP, she says "I did not...NOT sign up for this". She didn't say "I did not sign up for this". Two different meanings. She's obviously wanting to work on the marriage.
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Old 12-09-2018, 09:02 PM
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You're right; you haven't been here for a while! We've missed you.

How are you doing WRT this, your last thread? That definitely had me very concerned.

https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...5#post20688455

As for whether you should stay in your marriage, I'm not going to answer that because I don't know either of you personally (that I know of). It's something only you can decide. Sometimes, you just have to vent.

Last edited by nearwildheaven; 12-09-2018 at 09:04 PM.
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Old 12-09-2018, 10:38 PM
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You're right; you haven't been here for a while! We've missed you.

How are you doing WRT this, your last thread? That definitely had me very concerned.

https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...5#post20688455
Well, if there was any remote chance she was going to reply to this thread, you've pretty much just killed it with this. Nice job.
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Old 12-09-2018, 11:00 PM
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I don't want to be rude to the OP, but IMO, her foot is already out the door.
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Old 12-09-2018, 11:18 PM
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I was with someone for 30 years that was disabled - it's not impossible. But there are two things (IMO) required for it to work:'

1) The disabled person needs to do what the person is able to do - there was a bunch of stuff my husband couldn't do, and towards the end that list got longer. But he made a point to do what he could - if he couldn't do the grocery shopping and the laundry (too much carrying) he could in fact scrub the bathroom, take care of budgeting, take the vehicles out to be maintained/fixed, pay bills, and so forth. If your husband winds up with permanent mobility issues that might mean using a cane, a walker, a scooter - but both to contribute what he can AND for his physical and mental health he needs to be as mobile as possible.

2) YOU need to make sure YOUR needs are taken care of - our society does a shit job of taking care of the caretakers, and there is an unspoken assumption the wife is willing to martyr herself and being a bottomless well of caretaking energy. It just ain't so. You need time for YOU - to rest and recharge, to have some interests of your own, some time to yourself. It can't be all about just one person in the marriage. I suspect part of your frustration/anger is that you're exhausted from taking care of him

Last edited by Broomstick; 12-09-2018 at 11:18 PM.
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Old 12-09-2018, 11:51 PM
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I'm reading replies and greatly appreciate the insights. I don't begrudge the criticism. I knew going into this that it would be a polarizing topic. I don't have anyone I can vent with IRL. I also know the SDMB has a fair number of posters in relationships with disabled people, hence the post.

My struggles with alcohol are improving. I don't plan to return as a regular--forum posting is no longer a priority in my life. I'm on a literature kick. And I've been trying my hand at writing. Just for me, just for fun.
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Old 12-09-2018, 11:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Rachellelogram View Post

I am lighter than I've ever been. I got weight loss surgery in 2016 and I'm down from 320lbs to 175ish. I'm no prize, not in my twenties anymore. I've got loose skin and all that shit, but I'm cuter with my clothes on.

We were wandering a flea market the other day. He pulled out a chair to sit on (that was not intended for customers to sit on) and I realized that... it very well may not. And I'm not sure I'm okay with that.

Through sickness and in health is an easy enough thing to parrot during the exchange of wedding vows, but how much is too much? I'm 34 years old. He's about to turn 35. I did not... NOT sign up for this, but the thought of living without him is... literally unthinkable.
How would you have responded if he had lost the weight before you did and had wanted to leave?
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Old 12-10-2018, 12:03 AM
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I'm delighted you came back and very glad to be proven wrong about the likelihood of your return - I owe an apology to nearwildheaven. Best of luck to you!
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Old 12-10-2018, 12:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Rachellelogram View Post
I'm reading replies and greatly appreciate the insights. I don't begrudge the criticism. I knew going into this that it would be a polarizing topic. I don't have anyone I can vent with IRL. I also know the SDMB has a fair number of posters in relationships with disabled people, hence the post.

My struggles with alcohol are improving. I don't plan to return as a regular--forum posting is no longer a priority in my life. I'm on a literature kick. And I've been trying my hand at writing. Just for me, just for fun.
Enjoy your new interests, and check in with us whenever you wish.

If you thought my question was invasive, it wasn't meant to be. I post-dived on you to see how long it had been since you'd stopped by here, and that thread happened to be the last time. And it is a big concern for some people who have had bariatric surgery and is nothing to mess around with.
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Old 12-10-2018, 12:30 AM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is offline
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I'm delighted you came back and very glad to be proven wrong about the likelihood of your return - I owe an apology to nearwildheaven. Best of luck to you!
An apology is not necessary. I understand where you were coming from, and asked because, like I just said, I was sincerely concerned about her.
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Old 12-10-2018, 07:16 AM
Rachellelogram Rachellelogram is offline
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Originally Posted by nearwildheaven View Post
Enjoy your new interests, and check in with us whenever you wish.

If you thought my question was invasive, it wasn't meant to be. I post-dived on you to see how long it had been since you'd stopped by here, and that thread happened to be the last time. And it is a big concern for some people who have had bariatric surgery and is nothing to mess around with.
I dig.

Obviously, as with any couple's marital troubles, the situation is more nuanced and the story longer than the meager questions presented in the OP. I was/am seeking advice on a couple specific parts that I have no experience dealing with (nor observing being dealt with in a mentally-healthy way, as the child of a broken home and two broken parents).

Suffice to say that my husband and I have both made each other into better people than we could have been alone--even when we argue, we always agree on that. We have both helped each other through rough patches from a medical perspective. If I hadn't met him, I likely would never have gotten the surgery in the first place. Neither of us would have been motivated to achieve the levels of career/financial success we are currently enjoying.

At the same time, interests and life goals are diverging. He is and has always been fairly controlling. I am less malleable than I was at the beginning of our relationship (due in part, but not in whole, to the weight loss). He is not amenable whatsoever to any form of counseling. We talk past each other a lot. A fair amount of head-beating against metaphorical brick walls is taking place, in both directions. If things end, it's not as simple as "chick loses a shit-ton of weight and ditches fatty." But people will assume what they will when nuance is taken out of the equation, and the OP was simple for a reason.
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Last edited by Rachellelogram; 12-10-2018 at 07:20 AM.
  #39  
Old 12-10-2018, 08:49 AM
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Even if your husband has no interest in counseling there is no reason YOU can't speak with a professional.

With recent troubles in my own life over the past couple years I was able to meet with a social worker who helped me a great deal both on a practical level (to secure new housing in an emergency) and also mentally (working through fears/issues/anxieties). Many ministers and pastors can provide counseling. If it works better for you/others you can just call it "advice". If your husband has issues tell him you're trying to see what resources are available to both of you (which is true) and speaking with this or that person is part of it.

I don't have much direct advice, all I can do really is send you my best wishes, which, of course, I do.
  #40  
Old 12-10-2018, 09:02 AM
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Inigo Montoya Inigo Montoya is offline
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Originally Posted by StGermain View Post
If he can walk around a flea market, even a bit, he should be able to make it to the bathroom.
Yeah, what's up with that? Rachel, (good to see you again) sounds like the weight and the foot injury are red herrings and probably not indicative of the quality of your actual marriage. They're stuff you've noticed that help you make sense of what you're feeling. Strip all that away. What would you feel if you looked at him and he was fully functional and healthy? Is that a guy you'd see across a room and want to get to know? Does he seem to appreciate what you do for him, and that it is hard? Unless he's comatose, there is surely something he could do to make your life better--does he do that much at least? Are you alone in your marriage?
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Old 12-10-2018, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Rachellelogram View Post
At the same time, interests and life goals are diverging. He is and has always been fairly controlling. I am less malleable than I was at the beginning of our relationship (due in part, but not in whole, to the weight loss). He is not amenable whatsoever to any form of counseling. We talk past each other a lot. A fair amount of head-beating against metaphorical brick walls is taking place, in both directions. If things end, it's not as simple as "chick loses a shit-ton of weight and ditches fatty." But people will assume what they will when nuance is taken out of the equation, and the OP was simple for a reason.
Well, I for one wouldn’t blame you if you did leave because he decided to stay 300lbs and unable to keep up with you. Just because y’all were both overweight when you married doesn’t make it wrong to ever expect your spouse to change for the better. It’s no different than any divergence in values. But before it comes to severing ties, as a married person, you need to do due diligence in saving your relationship.

I agree that individual counseling might be helpful. The therapist may give you some tips on how to communicate your needs and expectations to him in the most supportive and effective way.

Last edited by you with the face; 12-10-2018 at 10:13 AM.
  #42  
Old 12-12-2018, 12:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Flyer View Post
There's your problem right there. It is evident that you did not actually mean what you said on your wedding day.

You DID, in point of fact, sign up for this when you made those vows. If you did not want to sign up for it you never should have gotten engaged, much less married.

Marriage is for LIFE; plain and simple. Not until things get messy or inconvenient.
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  #43  
Old 12-12-2018, 08:25 AM
Steve McQwark Steve McQwark is offline
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First of all, I agree with the recommendations to talk to a counselor about this. You'll be able to get more into the nuance of your relationship talking to someone face-to-face.

My wife was diagnosed with early onset dementia six years ago, so I've wrestled with some of the same questions as you. What do we owe to our partners and what do we owe to ourselves? I think there is truth to the idea that we did sign up for this even though we didn't know exactly what we were signing up for. However, I think we signed up with a partner who agreed to support us as well. That doesn't mean everything has to be split fifty-fifty, but that each spouse has promised to do what they can to support the other. If your husband won't do what he can to support you, including things like losing weight to ameliorate health issues, then he is the one breaking the vows.
  #44  
Old 12-12-2018, 11:03 AM
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Nicely said, Steve. Though nothing like dementia, my wife is a Type 1 diabetic and at times her blood glucose (or, BG) has unexpectedly crashed and she is suddenly unable to respond or act rationally. On top of that, she has had two organ transplant operations, so she will be on immunosuppressants all her life. In winter cold weather she has caught infections. Between the BG crashes and suppressed immune system we’ve been to the E.R. more times than I can count. It’s pricey, even with insurance.

There’s more but I don’t want to derail the thread. As I said upthread we each decide, every day, if we will stay with our spouse / significant other that day. Our vows meant something when we professed them, but there are circumstances when leaving is warranted. It is nice having a partner in life. In a recent Wall Street Journal article, dealing with loneliness takes a serious toll on individuals: https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-lon...ne-11544541134

Rachel’s husband refusing to correct his situation could be tantamount to him breaking his vows.
  #45  
Old 12-12-2018, 11:33 AM
Unintentionally Blank Unintentionally Blank is offline
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While therapy is good, we're all armchair quarterbacking this when you're up to your armpits in the worst part of a situation that has him disabled.

Have you, in a respectful and calm way, talked to him?

We yell and rave at the closest people in our lives in a way we would NEVER do to anyone else.

I guarantee he's having issues with this. I was in a wheelchair and crutches for 6 weeks after a motorcycle accident and it took very little effort at all to feel hopelessly overwhelmed at the loss of function.

Perhaps you need a break from the support, perhaps you need to, with your spouse, tackle the problem, not each other. It's you and him against the problem. At least for now. And that should be part of the conversation so he's aware of the potential endgame.

He needs to know that the situation, in part caused by his health, is harming the marriage. Your job, as spouse, is to give him the ability to get to a point where the marriage is more equitable.

Because it doesn't sound like the issue is irreparable (like a debilitating disease where there's no out.) and it may be nothing more than a frank conversation between equals, and a break from the burden on your part.

"I'm here for you..for now...but this situation is harming my relationship with you and I need your help to fix it."
  #46  
Old 12-12-2018, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve McQwark View Post
If your husband won't do what he can to support you, including things like losing weight to ameliorate health issues, then he is the one breaking the vows.
I just wanted to point out that this is not a simple thing, and I would hate to have my marriage being threatened by a requirement to get a specific result like this. The husband should be "rewarded" not for losing weight, but for maintaining whatever behaviors they have decided together are within his control and likely to be helpful. Otherwise it's just setting him up for failure.
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  #47  
Old 12-12-2018, 12:42 PM
Steve McQwark Steve McQwark is offline
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Originally Posted by Steve McQwark View Post
If your husband won't do what he can to support you, including things like losing weight to ameliorate health issues, then he is the one breaking the vows.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ENugent View Post
I just wanted to point out that this is not a simple thing, and I would hate to have my marriage being threatened by a requirement to get a specific result like this. The husband should be "rewarded" not for losing weight, but for maintaining whatever behaviors they have decided together are within his control and likely to be helpful. Otherwise it's just setting him up for failure.
I agree that it's not a simple thing. When I wrote "do what he can to support you", I was thinking of behaviors that are within his control. I should have been more explicit that the losing weight thing was an example and not a specific requirement for Rachellelogram's husband. Every couple has to come to their own agreements on what support they provide each other.
  #48  
Old 12-12-2018, 01:30 PM
RickJay RickJay is online now
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Originally Posted by Flyer View Post
There's your problem right there. It is evident that you did not actually mean what you said on your wedding day.

You DID, in point of fact, sign up for this when you made those vows.
Look, that's fine to say, but let me ask you this; who's breaking the vows first?

It's easy to say Rachel is. But at the point he gave up on his weight and decided to just give up on his own health in his thirties, didn't her husband kinda break the agreement?

When I got married I did not for an instant think that the better-or-worse clause meant that my wife was stuck with me even if I decided to let myself go. Can a husband gain 150 pounds and still say to his wife "you're breaking our vows if you aren't into this?" 300 pounds? What if he stops bathing? Takes up smoking? Does drugs? Starts wearing T-shirts with vile racist slogans on them?

Now, I am not for an instant suggesting every couple should look like Bradley Cooper and Olivia Wilde got married, nor would I deny we all put on a few pounds as we age and even if we're in shape don't look at 50 the way we did at 30. Heck, Olivia Wilde looks her age, whaddya gonna do? But there's a point at which I'd argue that someone has de facto given up on their responsibilities as a spouse, and it's possible Rachel's husband has done that.

Steve points out that this line lies around at a person's capacity for control, and to what extent Rachel's husband is presently on control of this I do not know. It might be that given he in in the midst of a series of surgeries, 2019 might not be the big year for weight loss. But I'd hope there's some intent there to try to fix this - first and foremost for his own sake, because 320 pounds is fucking enormous and he'll feel a lot better just by virtue of losing some weight, but also because Rachel signed up to be his wife, not his nurse.
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Last edited by RickJay; 12-12-2018 at 01:32 PM.
  #49  
Old 12-12-2018, 04:03 PM
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Just because yíall were both overweight when you married doesnít make it wrong to ever expect your spouse to change for the better.
IMHO, everyone changes over time. Expecting those changes to comply with what you prefer, however, is a fool's errand. The only person for whom one can control the direction of change, or expect to, is themselves. There is an old bon mot that goes something like "A man marries a woman expecting her to never change, a woman marries a man expecting she can change him. Both are wrong." There is some truth in that...

I and my wife are of the "marriage vows are inviolable" camp. In our case, we did promise for richer/poorer, sickness/health, etc. and both fully intend to abide by that. In the case that one or both spouses violate the vows through specific actions/behaviors, the marriage may be rightly considered to be over. Those actions/behaviors should be talked about and agreed to before the marriage. Ours include things like infidelity, abandonment, etc., but nothing about physical changes. As always, YMMV.
  #50  
Old 12-12-2018, 04:39 PM
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So you discussed heroin and gambling addictions before your marriage? Or is that included in "health" and you're willing to go down with the ship on those issues?
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